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The Snowball Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as ¡°The Oracle of Omaha.¡±
Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world¡¯s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term ¡°simple.¡±
When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write.
Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer¡¯s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates¡ªopening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett¡¯s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people¡¯s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.
From Publishers Weekly
Successful investor Warren Buffett sits down with author Schroeder to give readers deep and erudite insights into his work and personal life. Detailing his views on current trends in the economy and society, Buffet speaks with tremendous wisdom about everything from his family to his business ethics. Richard McGonagle gives an eloquent, straightforward reading. He has a knack for delivering words with a profound importance in his voice, drawing in listeners and holding their interest for hours. Schroeder reads her introduction and sets the tone for this revealing biography. A Bantam hardcover (reviewed online). (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Warren Buffett should be applauded for allowing such open access to his life. Alice Schroeder, who interviewed friends and family, pored over Buffett's personal archive, and spent thousands of hours with Buffett, comes away with an unprecedented look at the hidden life of an American icon. At more than 900 pages (100 of which are notes), The Snowball¡ªthe title is a metaphor for the relentless growth of Buffett's portfolio¡ªsets the bar high for future efforts. Schroeder's account is comprehensive and her eye for the telling detail keen; while she explains the financial deals, she also explores Buffett's childhood quirks and his unconventional marriage. Enough is enough, though, and John Mark Eberhart of the Kansas City Star speaks for several critics when he points out, "I just could have done with a little less bang for my buck."
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Dubbed by Risk and Insurance magazine as one of the most respected--and fearless--thinkers on Wall Street, Alice Schroeder is the author of The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, a #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller.
Schroeder started to track the story behind the money as a CPA, and former regulator for the Financial Accounting Standards Board. After joining Morgan Stanley, she was the first and only analyst to be granted an interview with the famously reticent Buffett. Telling The New York Times, "I like the way she thinks and writes," Buffett gave Schroeder unprecedented access -- to his files, family, business associates and himself, devoting massive amounts of his time over the course of five years - to interviews and questions.
The Snowball is a complete -- and revealing -- look at Buffett's life, wisdom and philosophy, from the development of his outlook on the world and the principles he lives by to the business secrets he has never before shared publicly. It was named Amazon's #1 Business and Investing Book of 2008 and one of the 10 best books of the year by TIME. That same year Ms. Schroeder was chosen alongside Ben Bernanke and Hillary Clinton as one of the"People to Watch" by BusinessWeek.
Now a Bloomberg News columnist, she continues her signature brand of telling the greater truth, and is on the road researching her next book.